College Township Planning Commission approves new brewery parking

jhartley@centredaily.comJuly 15, 2014 

The College Township Planning Commission approved the construction of an additional parking lot to help alleviate congested parking at the Happy Valley Brewing Co.

In a plan presented Tuesday by Mark Saville, of Sweetland Engineering, the new lot will be across Elmwood Street opposite the brewery providing an additional 56 spaces accessible by a driveway. This will bring a total of 109 stalls to serve brewery guests.

The existing structures on the new property will remain, and no additional buildings will be constructed, Saville said. Stormwater management will be controlled by underground facilities due to slopes using an underground retention system. The site will also have several retaining walls.

Because guests parking at the new lot will have to cross Elmwood to get to the brewery, a crosswalk application has been submitted to the state Department of Transportation, Saville said. A streetlight also will be added for safety during evening and nighttime hours.

These additions are the required safety measures for crossing Elmwood, Saville said.

Commission members expressed concern with the crosswalk, asking if that one measure is enough.

“I’ve seen people run across that road all the time to beat the traffic,” Planning Commission Chairman Ray Forziat said.

With traffic exiting East College Avenue to Elmwood at a high rate of speed, commission members wanted to see additional safety measures, such as a sign warning of crossing pedestrians or a flashing light. Saville said he would speak to PennDOT about getting additional safety measures in place.

State Farm agent John Walizer, whose office is next to the proposed lot, said he was concerned about additional stormwater runoff due to the newly paved area. Saville said he should experience less runoff than before, thanks to the stormwater collection of the new lot.

Walizer’s driveway will share space with the new lot.

In other business, the board approved a motion for All Nations Bible Translation to develop 12 acres along Watson Road off Houserville Road.

According to Chad Stafford, of Penn Terra Engineering, two structures would be built on the tract. The first would be a larger, single-family home to be used as a residence for an employee and family who would live on and maintain the land. The second would be a smaller cabin to be used for personnel of All Bible to stay in while training for international missions.

“The land would be used by these people to build life skills, like tend small crops or animals like goats,” Stafford said. “Things that they can go to countries and teach the gospel as well as land services.”

Because skills involving livestock would be learned on the property, Stafford did confirm that some animals would be kept on the property, such as a goat or a cow and possibly some chickens.

Each building would have its own sewer system, and stormwater would be gathered in a rain garden that would slowly drain, Stafford said.

The board tabled a plan by L.R. Kimballto build a new four-story building at Penn State’s Innovation Park complex.

The board will revisit the plan once it has been revised and the developers provide a stormwater management summary.

Jeremy Hartley can be reached at 231-4616. Follow him on Twitter @JJHartleyNews.

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